It's September now and... ugh.
Yesterday was one of the top five hot days of 2015. Still didn't break 90°F in Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo, although Mount Pleasant was 90°F on Tuesday and 91°F on Wednesday. Lows have been in the high 60s, low 70s. Heavy fog Tuesday morning. Lighter fog Wednesday morning. And Thursday? Murk. As in humid.
The air feels awful. And in prepping for the Fall Semester -- starts Tuesday! -- I came into Kalamazoo twice. Wednesday and now Thursday. Yesterday was pleasant. But today... ugh. The A.C. in Everett Tower is doing nothing. The air is just as thick and heavy and damp as outside, albeit a little bit cooler. As in a few degrees. Not sure how long it is practical to be here today, although I now hear a background rumbling in the building. Is the A.C. back on? We'll know in a while.
Right now, not only is my skin clammy, but my palms are sticking to the wrist wrest on OUEST. (Say that fast six times!) Thankfully, years ago I rigged up a Radio Shack 110V 5" computer cooling fan and have the air circulating in my little office.
It feels cooler if I turn the overhead lights off.
At home, I had the annual heat pump and furnace checks done on Tuesday, and the big accordion pleated air filter replaced -- not sure that got done last year. But we're in good shape. Had the batteries changed in the thermostat controller. 3xAAA and the old ones tested in the yellow on my tester, so glad I thought of that. High tech worries on a system that used to use just a simple coiled bimetallic strip and a glass bead with two wires and a drop of mercury. Progress.
Gas prices. Well, the BP refinery in Indiana is back in operation. I suppose you could say that gas prices are dropping, though they never seem to fall as fast as they rise. This all while crude oil is running under $40/bbl and in fact is so low that the dreaded fracking oil sources are shutting down exploration and calming down production because oil is too cheap to pay the bills. I'd say that the free market is doing what environmentalists were unable to do to save the planet -- except oil is not exactly a free market.
After regular topped locally at $2.99.9/gal, it dropped to $2.72.9 last week. Wednesday is was $2.52.9/gal and Thursday $2.50.9/gal. "They" are still talking about under two buck a gallon gas by Christmas -- it was supposed to before Labor Day, but then the BP in Indiana "crisis" flared up.
The big summer road projects are beginning to show signs of getting somewhere. Usually during the summer I take "the back way" to connect from M-45 Lake Michigan Drive to M-11 Wilson Avenue. It's curvy and pleasant and takes you away from the big parking lots and three sets of traffic lights at the Meijers in Standale. But... this summer they took out and replaced a bridge. Then they did roadwork on Wilson. And they are currently rebuilding the M-11 28th Street/I-196 intersection and interchange, resulting in me avoiding that area and some ugly detours. Just as well I didn't have summer classes this year.
The bridge on the back road is done and yesterday they were painting a few miles of lines on all the shiny new pavement. Yay. Similarly the new paving on Wilson is done. And all four legs of the I-196 interchange are open again, so I can use my usual routing if I so choose again.
As for Western Michigan University, one can't complain that they don't want to finish up New Student Week with a bang:
The Bronco football team opens its season with a matchup vs. Michigan State at 7 p.m. tomorrow. Sept. 4, at Waldo Stadium. Many WMU offices will close at 2:30 p.m. in anticipation of increased traffic on campus.Western has never beaten a Big 10 opponent -- and the Spartans are highly ranked nationally. I believe only Ohio State has a better national ranking in the Big 10. Of course rankings mean nothing now and very little later when they are used to justify the networks' choices for bowl games and the mythical pseudo-playoff national champion.
However... I expect Western to give it a good start. And I'll post the results Friday night with the appropriate school LJ icon for the winner. Full disclosure -- I work at Western and indeed worked for a while on a second Ph.D. in Science Education here AND I like Michigan State and have something like two Continuing Education credits from them for taking the six week 2004 Clarion workshop when it was still held in East Lansing.
Tuesday will be a parking zoo on campus. Fortunately, I have the handicapped hangtag, which means I don't have to compete for parking spaces. See, they don't actually ticket students for parking in faculty spots for the first two weeks or so -- and the students know this.
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